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Is being an avoider a marriage deal breaker?

(178 Posts)
mulranno Tue 30-Oct-12 08:53:43

Been with my dh for 26 years have 4 kids. He is very mild mannered, intelligent and a devoted (but ineffectual) father. We get on fine when life is rosy but when life is tough his modus operandi (?) is head in the sand, avoider.

I get left to research and make all of the hard complex decisions which leaves me feeing both over loaded and soley responsible which is very pressurizing -- he is still like a teenager when it comes to money, finacial decisions, emotional/educational decisions around the family. He chooses not to get informed so I am unable to sense check anything with him or get any support or direction or feel that anything is a joint decision. He shows no interest in what I am trying to achieve.

On the emotional/health side when I had severe pnd after my 3rd child in 3 years he just chose to spend all of his time out of the home -- he was out 4 nights a week at either football, tennis, committee meetings etc. When he was home (Fri and Sat nights) he drank very heavily, fell asleep and was "not available" as he was just so distant and introverted with major hangovers.

I was left to manage all 3 babies alone night after night which caused me to be really angry. We went to relate as I resented this behaviour but they "framed" it as his way of coping so I forgave him. However we have since had 3 further major crises - another pnd, devastating sudden death of my mother and a most recently a major financial crisis which has endured for 18 months and requires house and schools move to resolve. The last two have tipped me back into depression. Again on all of these crisises he has not "been there" in any capacity. I have had to grieve alone (he was quite flippant about my grief) and have spent the last 18 months sorting overdrafts, loans, remortgages, school appeals, bailing out his company etc with zero interest or support from him. Additionally 2 of our 4 children are very challenging. My teenage son is aggressive and hits me whilst my husband stands by and watches, my daughter is sen also with severe bahavioral issues and her school and emotional health are another demand of my time. I am going thru a major depressive episode at the moment and exhausted. I just feel what is the point. Time and time again he doesnt step up. I feel disrespected and neglected

TalkativeJim Tue 19-Nov-13 19:15:13

Phone the police and let your son learn some vague idea of consequences.

Then pack your stuff and leave, at least for a little while. Let your useless kitten-fart of a husband worry about all the things he usually leaves to you - children, food, home.

Take some time for yourself and see a solicitor, and yes, divorce him.

RandomMess Tue 19-Nov-13 19:16:56

I'd be tempted to move out and take the younger 3 with you tbh.

What a dreadful situation for you, your h behaviour is just truly awful sad

TalkativeJim Tue 19-Nov-13 19:18:57

If your husband won't leave... you leave.

Leave him with all the shit to sort.

Really. Go, and don't come back until he agrees to leave himself.

I'd usually say don't leave your home and children, but it sounds as if this useless fuck will last half a day before he's begging you to take the children off his hands, and is running as fast as he can from the demands of running a house on his own. He'll soon figure out that ready meals for one is easier than looking after his kids. That's what's important to him after all - having everything as easy as possible. And you're married, so he can't bar you from the house OR sell it out from under you OR stop you coming back at any point... so yes, LEAVE.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Tue 19-Nov-13 19:24:15

Divorce your husband. Please.

Leave now and take your kids with you. Their mistreatment of you still has time to get sorted. His neverwill.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 19-Nov-13 19:28:16

Don't you think it is important for your son as well as his past and future victims that he should be pulled up now? If he is not disciplined effectively he will only get worse. I don't think you're doing him any favours in the longer term by covering for him now.

As for your husband, he's gone way beyond avoidant and is into the realms of... well, I'm not sure what you'd call it, but he is not just passive, he is happy to let his wife and stepdaughter be assaulted. He seems to have sided actively with your son. "Stop kicking mum about now, lad, we're off to the football." So he doesn't get any trouble, while you're at home nursing your bruises. Er... good role model? Does he actually care about any of you at all, or is a quiet life more important to him than stopping domestic violence under his own roof? Does he even, perhaps, secretly get off on it a little bit, because he is too passive to knock people around on his own account so hides behind someone who will? I don't know, of course, and you probably don't know either, but this really does sound like end of the road time.

mulranno Tue 19-Nov-13 19:33:51

cjel - I expected my husband to help me when I was punched to the floor - to return to me and to comfort me - not stay cheering the abuser on at football. Then I expected him to discipline my son - ground him, take his phone etc. I will call the police now. My husband is refusing to leave - I offered that he could be here with the children at weekends as I could find a sofa to sleep on at friends and family. What will be difficult is that my children will see it as me throwing out their mild mannered Dad. I suppose that I have to take the blame in the short run

mulranno Tue 19-Nov-13 19:35:53

what are the things I need to put in place to separate? he refuses to leave.

cjel Tue 19-Nov-13 19:45:26

Mulranno. I meant what do you expect now? it should have been immediate and instinctive from your H.

I wouldn't worry about what your dcs think . They know the truth just as mine did.x
If its possible - go and stay somewhere else for a few days and use the time to get advice from a solicitor.x

tribpot Tue 19-Nov-13 19:52:21

I honestly can't imagine what it must be like to be 15, to have punched my mum to the floor - and there be no consequences. That is such a serious head fuck.

If he has a criminal record, that will probably deter him from continuing to assault members of his family. In years to come he probably will regret it, whereas if he doesn't see any consequences to his actions you will always regret it.

Can you take the younger children to your sister's?

woodlandwanderwoman Tue 19-Nov-13 21:01:53

Dealbreaker. You sound like an incredibly strong, amazing, practical and compassionate person even if you don't feel like it.

He is hoping you absorb his share of the stress and pressure as well as your own, taking you for granted and doesn't deserve you.

Dealbreaker, you are a wonderful person. xx

FunnyRunner Tue 19-Nov-13 22:27:41

Please OP - you MUST report your son to the police. Get a statement taken and have it all on record. If his violence is escalating you need to know that you will be safe, especially when your husband won't protect you. If anything your husband sounds like he is slyly and passive aggressively supporting the abuse - using your son to abuse you indirectly.

Your husband is useless and I would be looking to formally separate from him. You may need to go through a period of separate rooms / cooking your own meals only etc. until you can make some kind of agreement to sell your home. Obviously if you feel under threat you may need to leave temporarily or make sure the police are clear with your son that he will be in B&B if he so much as looks at you. I genuinely don't believe you will be any worse off without your husband, even if you have to move.

So sorry you are going through this sad

MistAllChuckingFrighty Tue 19-Nov-13 22:31:00

Your husband is also abusing your son by supporting him in his violence.

cjel Wed 20-Nov-13 08:17:20

Morning, How are you today?x

PrincessKitKat Wed 20-Nov-13 08:40:58

OP I'm not a mum but I honestly think I'd leave with the younger DC and let your pathetic DH deal with your aggressive son's rage.

I'm of the opinion that your son treating people like shit is more likely to negatively affect his future than a criminal record. If he carries on in this vein he WILL be reported at some point. It's just a matter of who and when.

Don't let this terrible pair steal another year of your life when you could choose be happy & safe.

HoneyandRum Wed 20-Nov-13 09:06:58

You are completely exhausted and doing everything. Your children are learning to physically abuse you - get the police involved, how bad does it have to get?

Anniegetyourgun Wed 20-Nov-13 09:39:42

Oh - I take back some of my earlier post, having re-read the OP. I had kind of forgotten it when I posted and thought it was his step-family, but the children are all your H's? So it was his own daughter who was assaulted by her brother, and his own son whose behaviour he is refusing to address. Fuck. That's awful.

Legal advice is the way to go, and quickly, while your 15-year-old is still amenable to some kind of behavioural correction, before he comes to a bad end. I have had sons this age and it is vital they have good guidance. And I have, much longer ago, been a girl this age and it is vital they are not beaten up by family members!

mulranno Wed 20-Nov-13 09:43:27

Feeling between a rock and a hard place. I know that I now need to act to discipline my son as my husband cant/wont. However I see what my husband did as worse and unforgivable. I will call the police on my son but I don't want him to think that the marriage break-up is his fault. He came in to hit me in the utility room after hearing a frustrated tongue lashing of his father from me about another incident. He should nt have heard that.

TalkativeJim Wed 20-Nov-13 09:47:54

I have a feeling though if OP leaves and takes the younger children, her shtibag H will sit her son down and spend a happy week or two watching TV and gorging on takeaways, until OP ends up returning out of lack of money/worry for her son/sheer frustration, and the only thing that will have changed is that she'll have a pigsty of a house to clean and a son with an even bigger sense of entitlement to deal with.

OP, go to a solicitor and see if there's anything that can be done to get him out of the house. The thing is an occupation order, and I don't know if there's any mechanism by which you can argue that he is emotionally abusing your son and you need him out of the house.

The ONLY other way I can see him leaving is if OP leaves on her own and leaves him to look after the children...but with the issue of violence against her daughter, I can see the dilemma.

The other option is an immediate file for divorce and immediate police involvement if the son steps out of line again. But here you're looking at a long time before there's a house sale etc. and you're actually away from the scumbag.

TalkativeJim Wed 20-Nov-13 09:50:30

I don't know whether it might be an idea WHEN you call the police to explain that in effect, your husband is condoning and encouraging your son's violenve against you. Ask to speak to the domestic violence unit? This is more complex than having a teenage son kicking out. You are being abused by your husband through your son, effectively. Your husband is also abusing his child.

mulranno Wed 20-Nov-13 10:14:49

TalkativeJim - that's a very good point - it is very complex. I in reality I feel more abused by my husband.

mulranno Wed 20-Nov-13 10:30:57

Should I approach police, social services, CAMHS, GP, school? - what will the consequences be? If I approach one agency are they bound to report it to the police? I need to be clear what can of worms I am opening for us all. Has anyone experience of this next step?

TheDoctrineOfWho Wed 20-Nov-13 10:38:10

OP, your situation is awful, but you are afraid of taking a step to resolve it. What is your fear of that step? Can it really lead to something worse than awful?

mulranno Wed 20-Nov-13 10:52:23

I think that I am scared writing off my sons future with a criminal record. I also worry that he would react very badly - run away or attempt suicide - although I have no evidence for either of these being a reality.

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 20-Nov-13 11:12:31

mulranno I was married to an avoider - it made me depressed, and he used this as an excuse to avoid most paid work, as well as all the other stuff. I didn't realised until the last lot of ADs kicked in, and also by discovering MN, that it was his EA that caused the depression, not the other way round. I have now been divorced for nearly 2 years, the depression went as soon as I filed, and I've gone from strength to strength.

All this to lead up to the link to current EA thread which has been a godsend.

Sorry I can't be any help re your DS, at least not from personal experience. There do need to be consequences though, and I am inclined to think you may have to report - suppose he goes on to do it in the outside world, there may be much more serious consequences for him.

mulranno Wed 20-Nov-13 16:30:51

I just made the term "avoider" up - is it real? - if so how can I find out more about it

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